The College Football Playoff Selection Committee had a tough decision to make when handing in their final four rankings yesterday. What onlookers believed they were discussing was which one-loss team to include in the playoffs – the Alabama Crimson Tide or the Texas Longhorns?
When the final four teams were revealed, both one-loss teams made it into the playoffs, leaving the undefeated Florida State Seminoles out of the 2023-24 National Championship picture.
The loss of starting quarterback Jordan Travis likely placed doubts into the minds of the committee regarding FSU’s potential to compete with the nation’s best programs.
Despite that fact, the Seminoles did the work and had every right to put their unblemished record to the test in the CFP. This marks the first time in the history of the College Football Playoffs that an undefeated Power Five team has not been included.
Why The Texas Longhorns Should Have Been Left Out
Prior to this weekend’s conference championship games, Texas was ranked seventh, and the Oklahoma State Cowboys were ranked eighteenth in the nation. The Longhorns were favored by 14.5 points at online college football sportsbooks and covered that spread by an additional 14.
The Seminoles were ranked fourth and favored to beat the fourteenth-ranked Louisville Cardinals by 2 points with their backup quarterback. FSU ended up starting their third-string quarterback and covered by 8 points.
How does a Seminoles team that was ranked fourth move back a spot after covering in their conference championship game, getting leaped by a program that beat a worse opponent than FSU faced?
The only logical explanation is that superstar quarterbacks are respected more than the output and effort of an entire team.
Why Alabama Should Have Been Left Out
First, we agree that Alabama should have been a final-four team, just not at the expense of the Seminoles. Here are just a few pieces of supporting evidence as to why the Crimson Tide should have been ranked behind FSU.
- Alabama needed a muffed punt and a miracle fourth-down TD to beat an unranked Auburn Tigers program less than two weeks ago.
- They beat the 4-8 Arkansas Razorbacks by three points at home.
- Texas beat Alabama by double-digits in Tuscaloosa.
- The Tide beat the USF Bulls by a final score of 17-3 and didn’t separate until late in the game.
The SEC Champions have been a part of every CFP thus far, and with the expansion to 12 teams next year, there’s little chance they’ll ever be excluded.
Why None Of This Matters Going Forth
The 12-team CFP format that begins after next season will alleviate any potential for an undefeated Power Five (or Power Four?) team to be held out of the playoffs. This seems like an opportune time to scream out for an overhaul in the process, but the problem is already taken care of.
Unfortunately for the Seminoles, that solution comes one season too late. FSU will face the number six Georgia Bulldogs in the Orange Bowl. FSU vs. Georgia odds have yet to drop, likely due to the uncertain status of Seminoles quarterback Tate Rodemaker.
The odds for betting on the CFP National Champions suggest that the winner of the Alabama-Michigan game will win the whole thing.
CFP National Championship Odds
- Michigan (#1) +160
- Alabama (#4) +185
- Texas (#3) +315
- Washington (#2) +700